IMPACT Inbound Marketing Agency]

They Ask, You Answer Mastery

A coaching & training program that drives unmatched sales & marketing results.


Sales Performance Mastery

Improve the competencies and close rates of your sales organization.

Web design

Website Mastery

Web design, development & training for your team.


HubSpot Mastery

Everything you need to get the most from HubSpot.

AI Mastery

AI Enablement Mastery

Unlock the power of AI in all aspects of your revenue operations.

Discover how IMPACT’s services can help take your business to the next level. Book a free 30-minute coaching session Book a free 30-minute coaching session
Learning Center
Learning Center

Learning Center

Free resources to help you improve the way you market, sell and grow your business.

[NEW] The Endless Customers Podcast is now available everywhere. Learn how to earn trust & win more customers in the age of AI. Listen Now Listen Now

Free Assessment: How does your sales & marketing measure up?

Close Bottom Left Popup Offer

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.
Stacy Willis

By Stacy Willis

Jul 12, 2016


Marketing Strategy
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our weekly newsletter.

Get the most relevant, actionable digital sales and marketing insights you need to make smarter decisions faster... all in under five minutes.

Thanks, stay tuned for our upcoming edition.
Marketing Strategy

"Should I Delete HubSpot Contacts?"

Stacy Willis

By Stacy Willis

Jul 12, 2016

"Should I Delete HubSpot Contacts?"

"Should I delete HubSpot contacts?" We hear this question all the time.

Let me paint a picture. You've been using HubSpot for a while now, maybe a year or more. You're coming up on renewal and the amount of contacts you've collected mean that you're looking at having to graduate to the next level of account type.

Currently the Basic level account allows for 100 contacts, Professional gives you 1,000 and Enterprise allows you 10,000. At renewal time, if you are above your allotted contact level, HubSpot gives you two options: either increase your account level to the next tier, or stay at the same level and pay a little extra for the number of contacts that you have over the limit.

One of the most common questions that we have fielded from both clients and prospects is: "Can I just delete contacts for the renewal period and then add them back in later?"

The answer technically is yes but the ramifications are far from simple.

There is a time and place to delete contacts, but it should be well thought out and supportive of your strategy rather than a last ditch effort decision to save a few bucks. Let's dive into what happens when you do choose to delete contacts and some of the strategies for when and how you should do it.

What Exactly Happens When You Delete Contacts?

So, this is the tricky part. Most people don't even try to answer this question before making the decision to remove contacts. They just do it and worry about the rest later. Make sure you think about this in advance of making any decisions or pulling any triggers!

HubSpot lays it all out right here, but the basics are:

  • Visitor data will be maintained
  • Contact data will be removed

Essentially what you are doing is going back in time and transforming that contact back into an anonymous visitor. This means that none of their data surrounding conversions or information will be maintained.

Learn about the 7 apps every marketing strategy needs.

Download for Free Now!

It's Not as Simple as Deleting and Re-Adding Contacts

"Well, can't I just export all their data in an excel sheet and then add them back in later?"

Again, the answer to that question is technically yes. And again, the ramifications are far from simple.

You can maintain their contact record in an excel sheet and put that data back in later, but what you can't do is recreate their conversion history. Once you delete a contact that information is gone and you cannot get it back.

What Does It All Mean?

Okay, so now you ask, "Fine, then what does this really mean for me?"

What it means is that your historical reporting will be irrevocably changed after removing contacts (even if you add them back in later). You can go back in time and look at all of your visitor data and it will be perfectly accurate as far back as you have history. The same will no longer be true for your contact data.

Let's use an example for illustration purposes:

"I'm Bob Smith, a contact in your database. I started visiting your website in October of 2016. Back in November of 2016, I converted on my first offer. You sent me regular email correspondence. Sometimes I opened. Sometimes I clicked. I visited your blog a time or two. In January of 2017, I converted on another offer that was part of a very specific campaign you tracked in HubSpot."

Now, let's say you've deleted Bob. You can still see my visit information from back in 2016 and my blog views, but you've lost all of the rest of my contact data. This means that your conversion rate data for the month of November 2016 (the ratio of contacts to visitors) is now wrong. Since you removed the fact that Bob converted on an offer, that means your sources report now has no idea that he ever converted.

So, now when you want to compare my conversion rate this month to your conversion rate in November of 2016, you're comparing it to the wrong number. This is far and away the biggest overlooked effect of contact removal. So be sure to consider it when deciding whether or not to delete contacts.

In addition to issues with conversion rates or comparing historical contact numbers, you will also lose the information on which emails Bob interacted with, your HubSpot campaign will lose any information it knows about him - and therefore it will effect all of the percentages and ratios calculated for that campaign to measure its success.

When Should I Delete Contacts?

Your next question is then, "So, are you advocating that I never delete contacts?"

Absolutely not. In fact, I'm a firm believer in deleting contacts that are mucking up your database. I'm just advocating that you do it the right way and think about your decision before diving in headfirst.

Any removal of contacts should be strategic and purposeful, with full knowledge and understanding of what far-reaching implications that removal will have on your database and your reporting.

Here's How to Do It

You should have automated processes in place (that run all the time) which identify potential contacts that should no longer live in your database, attempt to re-engage them and finally flag them for removal. There should always be a manual review of those contacts before deletion.

Contact removal is a lifestyle choice, not a passing fad. Don't wait to think about it at renewal time. Use the power of HubSpot's automation to do the majority of the work for you and keep your contact database clean year-round.

Free Assessment:

How does your sales & marketing measure up?
Take this free, 5-minute assessment and learn what you can start doing today to boost traffic, leads, and sales.